Bob Arum is fuming about Golden Boy and Showtime counter-programming his Cotto vs Margarito show on December 3. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
With the Joseph Agbeko vs Abner Mares fight on Showtime going up against HBO pay-per-view's Miguel Cotto vs Antonio Margarito rematch, it looks already as if the current truce between Top Rank and Golden Boy could be short-lived.
Some of Top Rank promoter Bob Arum's vitriol was directed at Showtime:
"We will retaliate, and when we retaliate it will be tenfold. There will be major retaliation. ... We accommodated them and HBO accommodated them. Now, if Showtime does pay-per-view again, they will get it between the eyes. They will get the shit kicked out of them. You don't do that. Go back in history. When was the last Showtime or HBO put a fight on against the other's pay-per-view? I can't remember one. You just don't do that. ... It's because [Showtime] are pissed at us because they didn't get the Pacquiao fight or the Cotto fight. That's how small-minded they are. But revenge will be sweet. It will be on both of them, Golden Boy and Showtime."
As Dan Rafael notes in the original article, it's easy to remember one: March 12 of this year, when HBO countered a Miguel Cotto vs Ricardo Mayorga fight on Showtime pay-per-view with the fight between Sergio Martinez and Sergiy Dzinziruk.
Arum mentions that he moved Nonito Donaire from a November 5 date on HBO so as to not go against a Lucian Bute vs Glen Johnson fight on Showtime. Arum and Bute's promoters Interbox have a good working relationship, and it was nice of him to do that, admittedly.
But what may be steaming him here is something he doesn't mention, which is the fact that Golden Boy complained to Top Rank about the Donaire vs Omar Narvaez fight being booked for the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., because they thought it might interfere with ticket sales for their Bernard Hopkins vs Chad Dawson fight on October 15 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Now, the idea that Donaire vs Narvaez had to move to New York to accommodate Hopkins vs Dawson was a cute one. Hopkins vs Dawson only wound up in Los Angeles because they were kicked out of Newark, as Main Events has an agreement with the Prudential Center and basically wouldn't allow the card without a fight on the show, which Golden Boy and Gary Shaw wouldn't go for.
So you've got all this ridiculous sniping back-and-forth between promoters, all chasing every last nickel, which of course is their job. And given that Top Rank and Golden Boy are by far the two biggest promoters in the United States, they're doing most of the high-level fighting, even when they're on friendly terms.
Which is why, of course, they won't be on friendly terms for very long. It's already cracking, on both sides.
Schaefer says he "doesn't understand" where this is coming from, but he has to remember they already sort of poked the bear by having him move the Donaire fight to a location on the east coast:
"I don't understand where this is all coming from. He knows darn well I had no other choice with the date. I am not looking at picking any fights -- just the ones with our fighters, and that's it."
Everyone's a good guy all the time. That's the moral of the story if you listen to boxing promoters. They all do what's right and the other bastards are always trying to screw them over. Arum's retaliation talk is borderline comical, but Schaefer understands more than he lets on, too. They complained about a Top Rank card in the same general area that came a week after their card. He can't be surprised that Arum is unhappy about them promoting the same night on Showtime against his pay-per-view, even if Schaefer is right that Arum also understands that dates are limited, particularly for the rest of 2011.